Archives for April 2013

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Blogging

Don’t mind me.

I’m just covered in paint.

Seriously. I can’t paint without getting it in my hair, on my legs and on a good day somewhere on my face.

This is a big job.

I did not consider the ramifications of repainting half my house before beginning.

Actually, that’s not totally true. Deep down I knew this was going to be a huge undertaking. I just pushed that little fact waaaaaaay back intot he recesses of my mind and pretended like this would be a walk in the park.

Good news? We should finish the bedroom and foyer today.

Other news that’s not necessarily bad but not jump for joy good, either?

We have the living room and dinig room to tackle tomorrow and the ceilings? Well…they’re kind of high.

But the best news? It’s going to look suhweet when it’s all said and done. And by all said and done, I mean after I sell off all the furniture that I don’t want anymore, get new furniture that matches the Feng Shui I’m going for, repaint the furniture I want to keep and give the entire room an overhaul.


Big Job.

But in the end it will be worth it because I am going to LOVE it.

Carry on, friends. I’m off to paint.

(And a big shout out to my dad who is sacrificing his time and sanity to come help me paint even though he really, really hates painting. But he loves me, so all is good. Right, Dad?)

Hair, BlogHer TV and a Chance to Win Some Cash

Well hey there, everyone!

Remember that post I wrote yesterday about time and how it’s a gift and we don’t lawfully possess the moments of our day? That was super, wasn’t it? Just super duper.

I’m painting today. I’ve had it planned to knock out this painting project for a couple of weeks. I also have a kid who’s home from school with a fever. Guess how many times I’ve murmured “I am not the lawful possessor of twenty-four hours” this morning?

I’m choosing to respond to this unexpected hiccup with grace and in a way that is not ill-tempered. I am also employing full use of media devices such as movies and iPads for the sickie so that the Great Paint Project of 2013 can commence! Wish me luck!

While I am busy transforming my house, would you do me a favor? I’m participating in a campaign with BlogHer TV right now and you can benefit from it. BlogHer TV offers a lot of great content for women and for moms, one of which is fun, short hair tutorials. Because we may be minivan moms, but it doesn’t mean we need minivan hair.

(I’m not sure if minivan hair is a real thing, but it was a punchy little line so I included it.)

(If there were such a thing as minivan hair, though, I would say I have it right now. Flat, unwashed, unstyled, a little psychotic.)

(I’m sure your hair looks great, though. *wink*)

Anyway, this is one of the hair tutorial videos that I enjoyed. If my hair were just a scooch longer I would be all over this hair style. It’s very cute and very fun and it looks pretty easy and quick to pull off. Watch the video and at the end you will have the opportunity to enter to win one of three cash prizes.

This promotion will run for the next four weeks and each week three lucky winners will be chosen. The Grand Prize viewer will win a $250 Visa Gift Card with two other winners receiving a $100 Visa Gift Card.

For all of the details on the Prizes and Promotions, please click here. And for the Official Rules, visit this page to learn all about the promotion and how you can win up to $250.

Now, while you invest a bit of time into your winning entry, I am going to invest a little time into administering medicine and painting my house!

Happy Wednesday!

Disclaimer: I am participating in an Olay BlogHer TV campaign. I am being compensated for this post. All thought and opinions expressed are my own. For more details on the rules of the Sweeps and how to enter and win, click the above mentioned links.

Catching water in your hands


“Now you will have noticed that nothing throws [man] into a passion so easily as to find a tract of time which he reckoned on having at his own disposal unexpectedly taken from him…[This] angers him because he regards his time as his own and feels that it is being stolen. You must therefore zealously guard in his mind the curious assumption ‘My time is my own.’ Let him have the feeling that he starts each day as the lawful possessor of twenty-four hours.” C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

This curious assumption of time is a topic that is not unfamiliar to anyone, least of all the mother of three young children. Time is a curious mystery, fleeting and entirely elusive, yet ever constant and unchanging. Each day allots the same amount of time in which to operate, but it often feels as though time slips right through our fingers like a gush of water.

Lee first read this passage to me late one evening. We were laying in bed and I was trying to do something wildly important like read Facebook statuses and catch up on blogs. My husband, on the other hand, was trying to improve his mind by reading an actual book.

(You remember books, don’t you? They’re made of paper and bound together so that you have to physically turn each page in order to find out what happens next. Fascinating contraptions…)

As he read, he would put his arm on mine and go, “Ooohhh…listen to this.” It was cute the first time, endearing the second time, annoying the third time and so on. He was interrupting my quiet time – my time at the end of the day when I can turn my brain off and waste time without guilt. Could he not see the reverence and near holiness of my solitude?

It was at this point he read me the above passage that made me stop and think. Do I regard myself the lawful possessor of twenty-four hours? I believe that I do!


How has this attitude affected my life and the lives of the people around me?


I will confess that there are few things that irk me more than my kids waltzing in and interrupting me when I am alone. I feel immediately violated and ridiculously offended at their assumption that they can just come in and make demands of me when I am clearly having a moment to myself.

How dare you want food, water, love, attention?!

Shame on me.

“You (the demon, Wormwood, who is tasked with tempting this particular man) have here a delicate task. The assumption which you want him to go on making is so absurd that, if once it is questioned, even we cannot find a shred of argument in its defense. The man can neither make, nor retain, one moment of time; it all comes to him by pure gift; he might as well regard the sun and moon as his chattels.” C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Time is a gift. Every moment of every day is purely a gift. None of it is mine and I have no right to claim possession of a single moment. What I do in each moment is a reflection of how grateful I am for this ever changing, moving and fleeting gift.

Does this mean I shouldn’t guard some time to be alone? Absolutely not. A healthy mother knows to teach her children the importance of granting her time alone. Time spent away from children strengthens every parent and should be taken regularly.

Time together with my husband is not to be interrupted and I guard it as jealously as I can because this is a healthy use of my time. This is using the gift I’ve been given wisely.

But when the time does get interrupted, what is my reaction? Many times, I confess it is not a holy reaction. As C.S. Lewis wrote so beautifully in this same letter from the demon Screwtape, “The more claims on life, therefore, that your patient [man] can be induced to make, the more often he will feel injured and, as a result, ill-tempered.”

So what is my reaction? Well, more times than not, it is ill-tempered and that makes me sad, because such an attitude toward life is, I believe, what makes life often feel so fleeting.

If I recognize time as a gift and do not hold firm the belief that I am the lawful possessor of my moments, I can react graciously when time is interrupted – when random hugs need to be given while I’m working on a blog post, or the phone rings when I’m working on my book – when a neighbor knocks on the door while we’re eating dinner, or my husband wants to read to me while I’m trying to shut down for the evening.

What’s more, when I regard time as a gift, I will be able to use my time to bless others. When I’m less focused on time being my own then I can help those who need my help and do so in a way that makes them feel important and not so much like they were an interruption.

If I embrace each moment as a gift, I am more likely to live for the moment, to love in the moment, to bless in the moment and maybe every once in a while, I could catch a moment in my hand and hold it for a lifetime.

A Bridge Between Here and There

Image by Keely Scott. Compassion Bloggers Tanzania, 2012

Shaun Groves wrote a post the other day that’s been rolling and spinning in my head as I’ve digested the information he shared. He gave a rather concise breakdown of how and, perhaps, why women give more generously than men and asked a simple question at the end of the post.

How do we change this?

Both Shaun’s post (which you should read) and the comments offered a lot of insight into reasons why men may be less inclined to give generously than women, particularly to charitable causes. From the actual emotional responses that women experience when viewing photos and story to the pressure men feel as the providers of their own homes, it is not necessarily surprising that men are less inclined to jump at child sponsorship after hearing a simple presentation.

Men are pragmatic and practical where women are emotional and intuitive. These two differing responses to emotion will, naturally, lead to different outcomes in giving. Men want to know the bottom line. Where is my money going and how is it going to be used practically? Women just need to see the big eyes and round cheeks of a child and we’re ready to sign the check.

But there was one piece of this puzzle that left me feeling a like perhaps there is a bridge  to be built between the pragmatism of men and the emotionalism of women. And my female friends? I really think the bridge rests on our shoulders.

Shaun writes: “According to a Pew Research study from 2008, in 43% of heterosexual couples polled the woman was the primary decision maker in four areas: what to watch on television, weekend plans, buying things for the home, managing finances. (31% of couples “evenly divide” decisions.)

…So it’s possible that a man being asked to commit $38/month to sponsor a child is unsure he has the authority to make such a commitment alone. “I need to talk to my wife first.'”

The first time I read this I had to stop and pause for a moment. And the more I thought, I wondered if perhaps this could be the very key to unlocking our men’s freedom to give more generously.

What if we let them do it? What if we as wives gave our husbands full reign and leadership over these important and necessary decisions of how, when and where to give of our time and resources?

I can hear the arguments and I see some of you cringing. “She’s gonna use the ‘S’ word, isn’t she?”

Ahem. Maaaayyyybeeee…

Submission is hard. It’s really, really hard. But, here’s the kicker, it actually produces a lot more freedom than most of us are willing to admit.

Now before you throw the typical arguments my way, let me say this – when I speak of submission, I am in no way condoning abusive or dangerous situations. If you or your children are being abused, then my advice is to get away and do it quickly. So know that the submission I am speaking of is one that applies to a healthy relationship between husband and wife that is built on mutual respect, love and communication.

Submission is often portrayed as weakness, as bowing down and being trampled on by the big, bad men. But I don’t believe that is what submission was meant to be at all.

Submission is actually powerful. It gives us the opportunity to build our men up, support them and give them the confidence to make the right decisions. I wondered when reading the above statement if, perhaps, we as wives could do a better job of building our husbands up in the area of leadership, finances and decision making within the household. What would the outcome be if we communicated to them our belief in their ability to make wise decisions? What would happen if men felt they did have the authority to make important decisions for their families?

Image by Keely Scott, Compassion Bloggers Tanzania, 2012

How might it affect a man’s desire to give generously if he believed his wife saw him as a generous giver?


Remember, ladies, how exciting it was for your man to pursue you when you first began dating? The outcome of the dating situation rested on his ability to properly woo you. Men thrive on that challenge. If we remove the challenge of leadership after saying “I Do,” we have full potential to leave men paralyzed in the areas of decision making.

Simply handing over the reigns of leadership in finances and decision making alone will, of course, not turn men into automatic generous givers. It doesn’t even mean that all men will automatically make wise decisions regarding finances. But perhaps it would build a bit of a bridge between desire and action when they are presented an opportunity to give.

At any rate, it will remove one more excuse for not giving.

So what are your thoughts? Ladies, do you see the potential impact you could have on your husband by giving him the reigns of decision making? And men, what do you think? What do you need from us as women to help support you in becoming men who give generously and lead confidently?

Image credits

This is another article that was presented in the comments of Shaun’s post. I thought it was a great read for me as a wife and a woman who desires to see her husband reach his full potential as the head of our home.

The Thrill of Annihilation

These three children, all of whom were born of the same two parents (as if that wasn’t obvious enough – they were clearly cut from the same mold), could not be more different from one another.

One of the unique privileges of motherhood is the ability to know another human being with a depth that is nothing short of miraculous. I remember distinctly the first time I held Sloan and looked at his face and thought, “There you are.” His face was so familier to me, I felt I had known him my entire life. It’s as though he was buried inside my soul for a lifetime and we were finally reunited.

And now, as they grow older, I am so intimately connected to them, it almost leaves me breathless. I mean, sometimes they surprise me with their ability to love one thing one day and hate it the next (socks are my nemesis), but the innate fabric of their beings are familiar and I know exactly what they struggle with and how they will succeed.

When it comes to competition, they are all very much their own individuals. Competition is woven into the fabric of our family. My husband was a collegiate basketball player – sports and competition make him feel as if the world is still spinning rightly on it’s axis.

If there were a child that I could pinpoint being most like his daddy in personality, it would be my bubbly thirdborn. He lives for sports and is ready at any moment of the day to play a game of baseball or basketball or football or anything that allows him to hold a ball in his hands.

He does not like to lose. Oh my, how he hates to lose. The thrill of the victory is what keeps him moving each day. Defeat is not readily accepted and tears are shed often. Even an innocent game of UNO can leave him desperate if victory does not come after the first round. The last time he and I played, he refused to put down his card, because he knew I was going to win.

He has yet to acknowledge my win because technically we never finished the game, therefore technically he did not lose.

The firstborn is a lot like me when it comes to sports. He doesn’t like to lose, but he doesn’t necessarily care about winning either. He’s there for the social aspect of it all. He is not overly competitive and aggression is not in his makeup. He just wants to play and talk and have a good time.

I love that about him.

And then there’s the girl. She, like her younger brother, is hyper competitive but for different reasons. While Landon loves to win for the thrill of the victory, Tia likes to win for the thrill of annihilation. She doesn’t just want to win – she wants to destroy her competition.

Case in point:

Last week, she and I were doing some ab work. She has this freaky love for all things fitness, which keeps me in decent shape, so I’m not complaining. Lee came in and watched us working and challenged Tia to a tuck up competition. Tuck ups are when you lay on your back and crunch up, pulling your knees to your shoulders.

They’re hard.

Tia did 40 tuck ups, then sat on the couch and looked at her dad. “Beat that,” she said with a grin. So he did. He did 50 tuck ups. This did not settle well with the girl who refuses to lose.

She slid to the floor and started again. “You only have to do 51 to beat Dad,” I told her but she did not acknowledge my presense, her face intensely focused on the wall in front of her. She hit 50, then 60, then 70 and she began shaking and sweating. Her arms trembled and pain washed over her face.

“You won, Tia,” Lee and I laughed. “You can stop.”

But she didn’t. She kept going to 80 then 90 then 100 and finally 101. She collapsed on the floor and laid there panting and shaking. Lee leaned over her and grinned. “So I guess you beat me, huh?” he said.

“Dad,” she gasped. “I wanted…to…crush you.”

We can only hope that this attitude will one day keep the boys at bay a little bit. Here’s to hoping she intimidates them just enough that they’ll know how hard they’d have to work to keep up…and maybe they’ll stay away.

We can dream, right?

Are there unique traits that you see in your children that leave you shaking your head in wonder?

Easter Present and Past

Because you can always use one more dose of cute. And because it’s my blog and I’m feeling sentimental and my babies are growing up and oh dear…

I’m crying again.

I do that a lot these days. It’s like my life has turned into one giant Hallmark commercial. You died those Easter eggs on your own? sob! You can read this whole book by yourself? sob! You want a little sister? sob! You don’t need my help getting dressed?

Well…that’s kind of nice, I have to admit.

Oy vey. I’m a wreck. Ignore me while you look at these photos.

Easter 2009

Easter 2010 - Landon...I just can't stand it.

Easter 2011 - Again with all the Landon....


Easter 2012

Easter 2013

I'm sorry, but when did this kid grow up?!?!

And then there's this one. Handsome little devil...


How was your Easter, friends? Do you have the same problem I do – the problem of children who seem to be growing way too fast?

It’s a problem without a solution, unfortunately.